Sunday, 29th January 2017
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39 Years Ago Guitarist Steve Clark Joins Def Leppard In Sheffield

Def Leppard 1979. Steve Clark 1979

Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark joined the band 39 years ago today at a rehearsal in Sheffield, England.

Steve attended a band rehearsal at the Spoon Factory near Bramall Lane and got the job as the new second guitarist.

He is shown on the roof of the buildings in the picture above whilst filming the 1989 'Rock Of Ages' documentary for the BBC (footage that wasn't used but was briefly included in the Classic Albums Hysteria episode).

Steve was fifth member to join the band and together with Pete Willis he helped form the unique twin guitar sound.

This would be taken to another level when he teamed up with fellow 'Terror Twin' Phil Collen after he joined the band in July 1982.

Sadly that classic partnership would only last for two world tours and one full album, 'Hysteria' before Steve's tragic death in January 1991 in London.

Steve's first show was the band's debut public performance on 18th July 1978 in Mosborough/Sheffield.

The last full concert was on 27th October 1988 in Tacoma, WA.

It's a sad and strange fact that this anniversary falls in the same month as his death and funeral.

Below are a couple of quotes about Steve joining from the 1987 'Animal Instinct' biography.

Animal Instinct 1987 - Steve Clark Joins Def Leppard Quotes

"One particular Wednesday, Pete was reading a guitar effects manual in the school library when a teenager about his age with light-red hair spotted the book, came up to him and asked "Do you play?" Pete said yes and told him about his band, Def Leppard."

"The red-haired fellow was also a guitar player, named Steve Clark. Steve asked Pete if his band needed a second guitarist and Pete coolly suggested that Steve maybe stop by Bramall Lane during Leppard's next rehearsal."

"Steve Clark fulfilled his promise in spades when he turned up at Bramall Lane on January 29, 1978. He wasn't too impressed with the "real grotty shithole" Def Leppard called a rehearsal room, but it was better than nothing. After plugging in, he suggested the five of them have a go at Lynyrd Skynyrd's popular guitar freakout Free Bird, Clark then proceeded to dazzle the other Leppards with his ability to play not only the song itself but the lengthy solo passage at the end as well. Now they were five."

Steve Clark - July 1988 Interview Quote

Writing Wasted In January/February 1978

"Oh yeah I wrote that on a bus. I think I'd just joined the group. I'd been with the group about two weeks in 1978 and I was just sat on the bus going to the rehearsal. I didn't have a guitar or anything. I just came up with this riff. Da da da, da da da...Just belted into the rehearsal room. I said everybody shut up then I just worked it out and that was Wasted. It was written in five minutes."

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Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar